10 Factors to Consider When You're Ready for Your Mammogram
Accreditation. The facility performing your mammogram should be accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This shows that the staff is certified and qualified and the equipment meets or exceeds safety guidelines and quality assurance. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center is ACR accredited - meeting nationally accepted standards of care.
Doctor is on staff at the hospital. To ensure fast, accurate reporting, it can be helpful to have a mammogram at the hospital or center where your primary physician or gynecologist works. We employ a full staff of primary physicians and gynecologists for you to choose from. And, we will mail screening results to the appropriate physician for women who have doctors who are not on our staff.
Full-field digital mammography. This is the most up-to-date technology for breast cancer screening, but is not available everywhere. It can be particularly beneficial for women with dense or thick breasts, women under age 50, and pre- and peri-menopausal women. In addition, digital images are also stored electronically and less likely to get lost. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center's Imaging Services Department - which includes digital mammography - is 100 percent digital. Plus, we have two state-of-the-art digital mammography units to deliver comprehensive services to the community.
Computer-aided detection (CAD). Find out if the facility's digital mammography equipment has a CAD system. CAD software raises red flags by highlighting certain areas on the image that need attention, even before the radiologist views the image. The digital mammography equipment at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center features CAD software, often referred to as a built-in "second opinion" that automatically identifies areas of interest on the image.
Appointment convenience. Women shouldn't have to wait weeks or months to get an appointment for a routine or diagnostic mammogram. Find a center that accommodates your needs and the needs of the referring physician. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center conveniently provides digital mammography screenings seven days a week - including weekend and evening hours. Appointments are available within 24 to 48 hours.
Same place each year. For routine mammograms, it's essential to be screened at the same facility each year, so the radiologist can compare images from prior screenings.
Additional imaging services. If the mammogram shows an abnormality, you may need additional diagnostic testing - such as a breast ultrasound or image-guided biopsies. Select a facility that offers these services. It's easier to have follow-up testing done in the same center - instead of visiting multiple locations and bringing along test results. Breast ultrasounds, image-guided biopsies and MRIs are available at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. In addition, the Picture Archiving and Communication System allows radiologists, technicians and referring physicians to view images on high-resolution computer monitors in their offices, homes, satellite facilities and hospital workstations. This means a quicker diagnosis and treatment for the patient.
Full staff of specialists. Should cancer be detected, it's important that the hospital or center have a team of physicians - medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists - who can coordinate patient care from diagnosis to treatment. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center for Cancer Care offers patients state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment capabilities from a highly skilled staff of cancer specialists. The team includes cancer specialists, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, social workers and nutritionists who specialize in cancer care.
Friendly staff, comfortable surroundings. Selecting a center where staff members are kind, understanding and helpful can make a big difference. In addition, the check-in, waiting and exam areas should be private and comfortable. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center's renovated Imaging Services Department is designed for patient convenience, comfort and privacy. Patients receive friendly and compassionate care from a respectful, courteous hospital staff, with minimal waiting times.
Yearly reminders. It's convenient and helpful when the hospital sends you a reminder letter to let you know it's time for a mammogram. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center mails yearly reminder letters to patients.
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